bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘hummus


It’s a rainy, cooler day here in Florida today so there’s some sunshine inside the lunchbox.  I made Miss G some vegan BLTs for lunch.  I found these mini slider buns at Whole Foods in the bread section, and they’re they perfect size for preschool lunches.  I cooked some vegan tempeh (fermented soy) bacon.  I use a tiny bit of Earth Balance vegan mayo on the bun, then romaine leaves and sliced tomatoes.  Above the mini sandwiches are grape tomatoes and pineapple pieces.  In the top left of her Easy Lunchboxes container are honeydew melon pieces and in the top right is a sunshiny face clementine.

Mini BLTs with happy orange by bentoriffic in ELBs

My girls also love sliced avocado or guacamole on their BLTs.

Side view blt

Miss G’s snack today is freeze dried mango pieces, a Crimson Gold organic apple and roasted cashews in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento box.

Freeze dried mangos and apple snack bento

Vroom!  Miss A is off with her LunchBots Quad filled with cars.  From the top left are pineapple pieces with 2 honeydew melon cars on top.  In the top right is chickpea hummus with a pita bread car on top.  In the bottom right corner are honeydew melon pieces with dried apricot cars on top, and in the bottom left are Laurel Hill brand peace sign pretzels for dipping and mini carrots.

Car and hummus bento by bentoriffic

Happy Lunch Packing!

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Trying new foods is my thing.  Of course, these days it includes crazy seeds, fruits and things I’ve never heard of since dropping meat & dairy from our family diet.

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Soy curls couscous and chia bento

I made my own version of vegan barbeque last night which means it becomes lunch the next day.  I found a product called Soy Curls made by Butler Foods.  You just soak them in warm water for 10 minutes and add the desired flavoring.  Once hydrated, I added these to a skillet with about 4 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke and about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  I add water a tablespoon at a time as necessary to keep it moist.  For this lunch I poured it over whole wheat Israeli couscous in her Easy Lunchboxes contianer.  In the top left compartment are local strawberries we picked this past week from Eden Farm.  The top right compartment has a chia seed pudding I made with almond milk.  Chia seeds are high in Omega 3 acids (more than salmon or flax seeds), calcium, potassium, fiber and protein.  Click here to read more about these amazing little seeds. Benefits of eating chia seeds

CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE

1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons honey, stevia or agave nectar (depends on your preference)

Soak for 20-30 minutes until thickened like tapioca. Stir every 5 minutes to eliminate clumps out of mixture.  Pudding will thicken like tapioca.

I’ve also added cinnamon and raisins as a variation on this recipe.

Sabra & peace pretzel snack bento

For her afternoon snack, my 4 year old has a serving size of Sabra hummus, Laurel Hill brand peace pretzel chips, blueberries, strawberries and dried apricots packed in a LunchBots Uno stainless lunch container.

Happy Lunch Packing!

My 4 year old loves her sandwiches.  She has whole grain and pumpernickel puzzle pieces.  I used the The Lunch Punch puzzle piece cutters for this one.  I cut the bread first, fill the sandwiches and then reassemble the pieces.  To the left is a pick of grape tomatoes and dried apricots.  Above the sandwich are red seedless grapes.  In the top left compartment of her Easy LunchBoxes are heart shaped strawberries and the top right are apple pieces.  I soak the apples immediately in a bowl of cold water with a bit of lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.  I soaked these for about 10 minutes and then toweled dry and put in the lunchbox.

See this great post by Cristi of  Bent On Better Lunches on different methods for preventing your fruits from browning in the lunchbox.

The Great Apple Browning Experiment

For her snack, Miss G has Sabra hummus with two different types of grapes and sliced kiwi.  Not shown are crackers for dipping in the hummus.

Still going on with the giant box of clementines we have, today’s face is a vampire.  Stay tuned for one last Halloween lunch and a giveaway this week.  Stay warm & safe, everyone!

Things I used to make this lunch:

It’s finally cooling off here at night in Florida.  And by cooling off, I mean that it drops below 70 at night.  I grew up in the Midwest in Minnesota so I do have weeks where I really miss the cool weather, crunching of leaves under foot and the smell of fall in the air.   Hope you’re enjoying the fleeting cool weather and changing leaves wherever you are today.

Miss G, my 4 year old, has a Halloween lunch again today.  She wanted a plain hummus wrap but I snuck in some julienned cucumber strips in the middle.  I have these neat silicone bands that keep the wraps from coming unraveled while she’s eating.  I wouldn’t recommend these for any kids under 4 ,but she manages them well.   Another trick is to put the wrap in the freezer or fridge for about an hour before sending it off.  It will stay put longer this way.  In the main compartment with the wrap is a seckel pear, a couple of grape tomatoes and a date coconut ball on a skeleton pick.  At the top left are pumpkin shaped mango pieces with a spider ring and poison bottle pick.  At the top right of her Easy LunchBoxes container are some tiny golden grapes with a jack-o-lantern face of Stretch Island fruit leather on top of the silicone pumpkin cup.

For her snack today, Miss G, the 4 year old, had sliced strawberries and below is a mixture of dried cranberries, pistachios, caramel apple coated almonds and cashews.

One of my favorite things to draw on and create food art with this time of year are the mandarin oranges and clementines.  They’re perfect for little fingers and fun!  I just grab a Sharpie marker (they’re non-toxic) and color away.  You can also just put stickers on them if you’re not inclined to draw.  This one is in honor or my new bento friend Erin over at Feeling A Little Lunchy. She’s just a tad moustache obsessed, and who doesn’t love a cute handlebar moustache?  Bonjour! and Happy Halloween to you too!

Little Miss Picky Eater, the 2 year old, has a LunchBots Quad full of Halloween fun today.  This is the perfect bento box for wee ones, in my opinion.  Just enough space for variety, keeps foods separate and hopefully less food wasted.  From the top left are a clementine peeled, jack-o-lantern sandwiches with pumpkin butter, sliced strawberries, and golden grapes with a pumpkin shaped mango on top.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Today was a leftover day.  Come on!  I can’t pull out spectacular on a daily basis 😉  I had some Rudi’s brand spelt tortillas and rice with black eyed peas just calling my name from the fridge.  So I rolled them up and made them lunch.

Miss G is reading now (at 4.5) which means I can’t spell out the things I don’t want her to hear any more.  BUT it does mean I can start small with lunchbox notes.  I wrote on her clementine today in marker and made a weird looking heart out of it to tell her “I Love You!”.  The Goodbyn bynto box fits the water bottle in the middle, and at the bottom are chunks of watermelon and pineapple.

Miss G’s snack is a Happy Tiffin with a half an apple surrounded by pieces of plum.  I added a leaf sticker for fun.  The round container has apricot mango soy yogurt in it.

For her afternoon snack she has a pickle with black and kalamata olives on top and the top container is full of mini carrots.

Miss A has a simple lunch today.  From the top left are a pink flower of plain hummus, organic corn chips, strawberry soy yogurt and pineapple and watermelon pieces packed in her LunchBots container.  Not shown are organic gala apples for little Miss A’s class snack.

Miss A has really been testing her 2 year-old limits and asserting herself at home, dressing herself and lunch is part of that too.  She has been eating her sandwiches and leaving all else.  

So I did what any mean mom would do.  I left the bread out.  I used carrot flowers and put almond butter inbetween them to make carrot bites at the top left.  At the top right are cucumber flowers with hummus in the middle.  At the bottom right are red seedless grapes with a carrot flower on top and the bottom left are pineapple pieces with a green apple flower on top.  The bento box is a LunchBots “Quad” stainless container, perfect for a small toddler or adult snacks.

Tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  The Bento Bloggers and Friends are doing another blog hop.  There are 30+ blogs involved with countless pirate themed lunches.  More importantly, there is booty involved.  NO, not that kind of booty.  Loot, prizes to be won and lots of fun to be had.

Please be sure to stop back tomorrow to make your way through all the blog hop.  Or we’ll make ye walk the plank!

Guest post by Lise LaTorre of Veggie-Bento

One of the ways I speed up lunch-making in the morning is by preparing batches of cute food in advance. That way, making lunch is just a matter of grabbing a little of this, smashing a cookie cutter on that, then sticking a bunch of picks everywhere. If I have five more minutes, I smash around some smaller cutters to add that ‘special touch’ (Did I mention I have a full-time job on top of being a mom?). By far the best tools I have for advance cutification are silicone molds.

3 Ways To Use Silicone Molds for Cute Lunch Foods

1. Freeze Stuff

Hummus freezes well and retains its shape and detail even after it has defrosted. Smaller shapes work best so that they will be soft enough for dipping by the time lunch rolls around.

frozen hummus butterflies

Yogurt is another great item to freeze. I particularly like using coconut yogurt since it adds some nice transparency. I prefer larger molds with easily identifiable shapes since yogurt melts quickly and details get lost by lunch time. I have also started putting colored coconut yogurt shapes on a plain greek yogurt background. The difference in consistency and color helps preserve the shape once melted.

frozen yogurt ladybug

2. Bake Stuff

Baked egg whites are very easy to make and have a nice, smooth consistency. Simply pour egg white into oven-safe molds and bake at 325° for 15 minutes. For a little extra fun, drop the shapes into a cup with warm water with a little natural food color in it. This works best for simple shapes without a lot of detail.

egg white butterflies

I’ve recently been experimenting with burying healthful ingredients in cheese to get my daughter to eat them. So far, we have been most successful with beany cheese bites. Stuff cheese pieces into smaller baking molds, spoon in some re-fried beans, then cover with more cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese is fully melted. Allow to cool, then pop them out. Easy and yummy, even at room temperature.

beany cheese bites

Smoosh Stuff

Conventional egg molds make shaping hard-boiled eggs easy and fun. However, they come in a limited range of designs and my highly-distractable preschooler got bored pretty quickly. So, I have been experimenting with less traditional forms. Thus far, medium-sized silicone molds are the winner. Place a warm, peeled egg in the mold of your choice and put a plate and something heavy on top so that the egg is slowly, and gently pushed into the mold. If the egg is a little on the small side, stuff paper towel in the non-essential part of the mold. Thanks to Alexandra Einess and Kendra Peterson of Biting My Hand for these great egg molding tips!

smooshing an egg ladybug hard-boiled egg

Similarly, rice molds are common in the world of bento. We don’t eat a lot of rice so I haven’t wanted to invest in them. On the rare occasion I do want to include rice in a lunch, I use the silicone molds instead. For these, I use pre-made sticky rice and molds with very simple shapes. I put the rice in warm, and put a piece of parchment paper on top. Once it cools, I flip it over and plop it out onto the parchment paper, then flip it back over to place in the lunch container.

rice dragonfly

Silicone is such a versatile material the possibilities are endless! What are some of your favorites?


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